What do you do if you go in for your twenty week scan only to find that your baby is missing half her skull, or that she has no liver, bladder, or stomach?
Do you continue the pregnancy, knowing that within minutes or possibly hours, if you're lucky, after your baby is born, she will die? Or do you do what many believe is unthinkable--and terminate the pregnancy for the sake of sparing your child the pain of trying to live for such a short amount of time?
Some women choose to continue their pregnancy. But others do, in fact, terminate. This post is not about judgment or what is right or wrong. But rather it is about the pain of losing a wanted baby.
There are a number of ways to have a medical termination, including a D & E (dilation and evacuation, the most common surgical technique) and labor induction (which is sometimes used when the pregnancy is farther along or if the parents would like to hold their child to grieve). In 2011, 19.1% of abortions were medical terminations. These were all wanted pregnancies that had contrary or fatal diagnoses.
All of these women grieve the loss of their babies.
I cannot imagine the difficulty in making that decision, having never had a horrible diagnosis for my baby or finding that my baby was missing organs. My heart grieves for these parents, and although I know that this issue can be divisive, I would like to extend a safe place for these parents to mourn and grieve their children. I see your pain, and I understand that your heart has been torn in the making of that decision.
For some resources on medical termination, as well as personal stories of walking through it, check out the following pages: